The Dogma 95 film movement appeared out of the need to make low budget films that will be concentrated on the storytelling and the acting. No long preparations, no stylish million-dollar bullshitting. Just film. For many years most of the filmmakers in the Balkan have been doing exactly the same. It is just that they haven’t made a manifesto and most of them have never even heard of Dogma 95. Does it hurt? The First Balkan Dogma is a no budget mockumentary shot on HDV according to the dogma rules.
A Macedonian filmmaker wants to make the first official Balkan Dogma film in Macedonia. She lies to her friends that she got financial support from the Zentropa producers. The film starts from the moment that she gathers her closest friends and asks them to join her in the quest for finding the right story for the film. She has decided to film the whole process from the very beginning and use it later for the making off. Following the four characters in their quest we discover Macedonia and the Balkans in 2006. The camera captures visual sequences of the absurdity, humour and survival techniques of a land and people in transition. The making of project ultimately becomes the true subject of the film. Continue reading
This is Macedonia’s contribution to what was once the cottage industry of ex-Yugoslav Partisan war movies.
I will simplify this one for the outsider that is not well verse in Macedonian history, particularly WWII – Macedonian partisans take up the struggle against Bulgarian fascists that occupy Macedonia. This was not by any means an easy battle since Bulgaria was the only German ally that did not send troops to the Russian front. Thus, the entire Bulgarian military machine could, without distraction, dedicate its efforts to crushing the Macedonian resistance. Continue reading
The inhabitants of a small village in a backward area of Macedonia earn their living by sending their men abroad in search of employment. Three young girls, named Elica, Maria and Nikolina live and work as schoolteachers in the village. Each of them try to make sense of their lives, in that situation where it is imposed on them. In the village the greatest problem is the supply of water. Spring water is carried by Marko from the distant mountains Marko is falls in love with the poor girl Kate. The monotonous peasant life is dispelled with the arrival of a group of mining engineers who come to do some research. The one engineer, named Victor is among them and he attracts the schoolteacher Maria’s attention. The return of Trendafil the old man working abroad, Kate’s uncle, is a special event in the village’s life. The destiny of a great number of the inhabitants depends on the wealth of the uncle returned from America. However there is no place for faith and hope as the uncle returns with no earnings at all.
It is about the members of the “Partisan” organization for physical education doing gymnastics. Reception and accompaniment of Tito’s (estafette?) baton is also presented.
Movie from 1953, in duration of 11 minutes.
The movie is created in standard technique, with sound, in black and white
Movie from 1976, in duration of 82 minutes.
The movie is created in widescreen technique, with sound, in color and 35mm.
Vardar film – Skopje
The film reflects the life of the Macedonian emigrants and migrant workers in Australia. With their going away in far away countries and living abroad, some of them have succeed in socializing, but there are still some of them who always remain with the dilemma of returning in their native country. Through their personal retellings and the metaphor description of their whole way of living in the new surroundings, expressed in a mosaical cinemathographic way, one could get known with the hard work of the Macedonian emigrants; also, the education of their children, as well as the holly celebrations in the church, such as the baptizing, the weddings, but even the funerals either, as unavoidable part of human living. Continue reading
‘Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torments of man.’ Nietzsche, 24 July 2006
Author: Grady Harp from United States
‘You never get out of the sewer’ is the sad summary toward the end of this remarkable film from Macedonia. Director Svetozar Ristovski co-wrote this screenplay with Grace Lea Troje, a story of the struggle of youths in a country devastated with poverty and corruption – a place without hope. The message is grim, the story is brutal, but the impact is stunning. Continue reading
*Macedonian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards
Two nine-year-old girls report a flasher to the police even though they never saw him. Three filmmakers meet the only residents of a deserted village – an elderly brother and sister who have not spoken to each other in 16 years. Retired cleaning women are found raped and strangled in a small town.
The fiction slowly turns into a documentary.
Marking the return of Milcho Manchevski, ‘Mothers’ portrays all types: dedicated, neglectful, loving, absent. Through these women, Manchevski renders the faces of human tragedy and joy.
Employing an innovative structure, the three stories in ‘Mothers’ highlight the delicate relationships of truth and fiction, of drama and documentary. What is the nature of truth?
Directed with a keen eye for contemporary Macedonia, the film eschews neat narrative devices and pushes the viewer to confront their own definitions of filmic reality.
In a traditional structuralist manner, the structure of the film itself (two parts fiction and one part documentary) becomes part of its message. Continue reading